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As a means of improving the metering obligations of electricity distributions companies (Discos) to their customers and with a view to eliminating the regime of estimated billing of consumers by Discos the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) is envisaging three innovative options.

In a released statement, the three options under consideration are Meter Service Providers (MSP) scheme, modified Credited Advance Payment for Metering Implementation (CAPMI), and franchising in rural an urban settlements.

The MSPs could be financial institutions, venture financiers or even Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and meter manufacturers, who would own the metering infrastructure on a lease basis including replacement of faulty and obsolete meters, but will also enter into medium to long term meter service agreements with Discos which would then integrate in their vending systems provisions that allow the MSPs to get deductions from customers’ vending.
Under the MSP scheme, NERC said that MSPs could be financial institutions, venture financiers or even Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and meter manufacturers with the capacity to provide comprehensive meter services to electricity customers.
NERC further explained that the MSPs would own the metering infrastructure on a lease basis including replacement of faulty and obsolete meters, it will also enter into medium to long term meter service agreements with Discos which would then integrate in their vending systems provisions that allow the MSPs to get deductions from customers’ vending.
MSPs would be expected to supply meters to Discos based on supply and installation contract, these Discos will then own and maintain the meters. The Discos will also retain billing and collection activities while collection accounts will be backed up by irrevocable payment orders.
The ultimate goal however would be to provide meters to consumers but with the financial burden of such venture taken off the shoulders of the Discos.

According to NERC,  “A large number of customers will be metered quickly in NESI, issues of electricity theft and meter bypass will be eliminated due to enhanced vigilance by MSPs, increased revenue protection for Discos due to focus on billing and collection, guaranteed repayment arrangement will encourage financiers to support MSPs.”

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